We are doing it! Aussie couple's 12 month adventure through the Americas...

Discussion in 'Americas' started by lifetravelled, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks FLARider1, much appreciated, we are def heading that way as we have spent some time in Florida before but haven't done the keys (high on the wife's list) or the Everglades (high on my list), plus will be doing some highly important beach time (I'll let you guess who's list that is on).
    #21
  2. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    There simply IS no choice.......Castrol 20/50 Drive Hard Dino.....end of discussion.
    #22
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  3. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the detailed post Boatpuller,

    Your spot on about this being a trip on a motorcycle vs a motorcycle trip and its about both of us having the trip of a life time, if it was solo, it would be more riding, camping and off the beaten track kind of thing.

    I would love to take a big adv bike but concerned with the size heading down south, happy to hear peoples thoughts who have been south.

    A super Tenere is a bike I would love to take, big fan of Yamahas have owned them here in OZ, and they a significantly cheaper in the US than OZ, interestingly some bikes have little difference once converted and some have more, but Tenere seem to good value to me. I think its important to have a bike that we can find mechanical assistance outside of the US, so something like the Triumph I'm not sure has the network at all.

    An aftermarket seat is on the list, Stef enjoyment has been a lot different based on the bike we have ridden and that is attributed to the seat more than anything.

    Colorado is on the list, must of left that out but the national parks around Utah and Colorado look amazing.

    Thanks for the welcome, we have had nothing but great experiences with Americans we have met both in the USA and in other parts of the world while travelling and found the further we get from the main tourist areas the better the hospitality is and we are looking forward to.

    We both learnt a little French is school but struggle to remember more than 10 words, Stef speaks Italian (Italian back ground) and has been learning Spanish in preparation for the trip. Interestingly when we were in Mexico and Purerto Rico a few years ago she was able to work out what most signs said. I on the other hand am completely useless, 10 years of Italian at school and can get to 10 that's about it, I have been slack on the learning of Spanish too.

    We plan to do Spanish emersion school in Guatemala for a week or 2.

    FOOD - One of my favourite topics..... We are very lucky in Melbourne as it is very multicultural and we have access to some great cuisines, especially Asian, there is a like 5 Thai Restaurant in every Suburb haha. However good quality American food such as BBQ is impossible to find, there have been a few places open up over the last few years but nothing like the US and I will be sampling my way through the south as you suggest.
    Good quality Mexican is super hard find here and nothing like have had in SoCal and Mexico so looking forward to that.

    We get a lot of American food shows and I love watching them and my mouth waters for ribs and brisket.

    thanks for taking the time to give so much detail.
    #23
  4. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Intercoms sorted, Sena was our choice and we bought new helmets to better suit the trip.

    A lot of our planning around gear has been to do with heat, not the cold so great point, I have ridden trough snow before and I know that will quickly end the trip if we not prepared, Stef loves the heat and hates the cold.

    Luckily our dollar keeps getting stronger by the day at the moment and again has made it cheaper to buy in the US, still not the days of when we were at $1.10, Aussie retailers really struggled because everyone was buying from the US, but currently $0.80 cents still gives us good value.

    Hard luggage is a must for us, I have a Pacsafe net for our duffle that we will take on the back.

    Cheers Josh


    Thanks for the tips on bike choice.
    #24
  5. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the kind offer, still working out the most interesting route from black hills to Chicago, we may just Slab it across a lot of it, any ideas?

    thanks
    #25
  6. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks TUCKERS,

    Agree on the hotel situation once out of the US and we plan on staying in basic family run type accom with a few treats along the way.

    We have budgeted to use basic hotels/airbnb in the US for a few reasons....

    1.If we camped it would only be the US, so there is an outlay there but we would need to get rid on the gear before heading south
    2. It is less luggage to take and reduces the amount we need to take
    3. I'm pretty lucky to have a wife that is in on this so if she want a proper bed at the end of the day I guess I need to make that happen haha.
    #26
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  7. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    @lifetravelled , those above have offered some great advice and suggestions. I would strongly suggest you go back and read the long post by @boatpuller , as he covered some very important topics. Yes....read it AGAIN. :-)

    As for bike choice.....# 1...as you are already doing.....get it through TUCKERS......as they are the people that know how to take care of International riders, and bikes.

    # 2....in my opinion, avoid the BMWs for riding outside the USA. Meaning, if this bike is going SOUTH, do NOT buy any BMW. Simple reason, they all require "premium" fuel, and there will be places in Central and South America were finding "premium" fuel will task you.

    I have ridden from the Pacific Northwest of the USA down to the southern tip of South America...Tierra del Fuego, Argentina on 4 separate roundtrip adventures, on 4 different bikes. 2002 Honda Varadero 1000, 2003 Honda Africa Twin 750, 2005 BMW R12GS, and 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere'.

    In North America...excluding the Yukon and Alaska....those bikes are fine. But down in Central America, and South America, and the Yukon and Alaska, the BMW R12GS and the Honda Varadero 1000 are elephants when the speeds are slower.

    I "strongly" suggest a V-Strom 1000, or a Super Tenere'....with the lean towards a V-Strom 1000, as it is more reliable, less electronics to break down, and will cost you LESS money every step of the way, especially on the initial purchase.

    As for towing a trailer, which can be smart, or dumb, depending on which trailer you pull......we have a vendor here that sells a single wheeled trailer that is designed for "adventure" riding. I have seen these trailers in person. They are built like a tank, yet light enough that I...and olde phart...was able to pick it up by myself, and load it into the back of my pickup. Not a fancy fiberglass body on it, but a Rubbermaid (style) tote, that is basically indestructible.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/sherpax-dual-sport-tow-behind-trailer.1188003/

    Give some thought to making it six (6) hours a day when riding, rather than 4 hours. Your plan is to do 200 to 250 miles a day. That is very short-sighted in the USA, but correct for Central America and South America. Up north think about 300 to 350 per day when riding.

    The RDL (Russell Day Long seats) are the cat's meow...I know, I am using seat # 12 from them, and have over 1 million miles ON their seats. For a V-Strom 1000 or a Super Tenere' it is going to cost you approx $ 725.00, when "everything" is totaled up...including tax. That is for doing a DUAL seat, meaning both of you have the suspension system built into your two seating areas. WELL worth the money, when talking about a 1 year riding trip. As @boatpuller said, you need to make an appointment months in advance. The "smart" money is to do a Ride-In appointment, where you are the ONLY people there that day...they take care of you, and only you, and 8 hours later you ride away with happy butts. Add that extra charge for the Ride-In appt., and your total is now $ 800.

    www.day-long.com

    Buy from Tuckers
    Buy a V-Strom 1000 or Super Tenere'
    Have an RDL seat built onto the bike
    Ride 300 to 350 miles a day in the USA.....200 to 250 a day in CA and SA.
    Tow a single wheeled trailer, for make-up, hair dryers, facial mirrors, etc. :-)

    Have FUN.

    Edit: Eat Burnt Ends.....my favorite BBQ. :dukegirl
    #27
  8. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Oh you're going to have a good time on your BBQ tour, enjoying both the mustard and the vinegar and the sweet/sticky and the smokey sauces, the dry rubs with no sauce, the beef vs pork argurment - damn!, it's ALL good. Suggest you try "burnt ends" when available. This is the tip of the brisket (which is actually a different muscle than the rest of the brisket), diced up and resmoked in a sauce. Started out as a Kansas City food, but is catching on elsewhere too, AS IT SHOULD!!!!! Some are offering "Pork Belly Burnt Ends" - this is what the angels sing about....

    You already have one northern Missouri invite, and while it is a nice state visitors tend to ride around the edge of the USA, missing MO. But, if you find yourself heading for the "heartland", I'm happy to offer you food and shelter in central, southern, or eastern MO (somehow I've ended up with 3 places for now).

    Also, investigate the "tentspace map". It's grown to often include guest rooms in ADVriders' homes. I've hosted 6, and no one's ever slept outside at my homes - yet. My wife was a little hesitant at first to have strangers in the home; now she looks forward to ADVriders stopping by. It's great fun to compare notes with motorcycle travelers from afar, and the riders get great local knowledge from someone who shares a common interest. And you can't beat the price.
    Depends on your preferred country to ride through. I favor rolling green to arid landscapes, so I'd drop south of South Dakota into Nebraska for the trip east to Chicago. There is beauty everywhere if you look for it, some places you have to look harder than others.
    Shucks. That is just kind of you to say, thanks. Let me add something to your BMW comments: Their dealer network is very limited in USA, I can't even guess how limited they are in the rest of the Americas. And, they are getting very electronically technical, which leads to reliability and service-skill issues when traveling in developing countries.

    Wish I'd been as brief as you were in your summation. You hit the important details (other than BBQ:-)).
    #28
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  9. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks heidiho,

    Great info, bike choice is the fun part but also the tough part.

    Fuel is an interesting one, and what makes taking bike to different countries tough, in OZ normal octane is 91, mid is 95 and premium is 98 with 100 available, but in the US is normal 87?

    As a side note, My car for example takes 98, would have to be returned to come to states... Even the it is a LS3 corvette engine in it.

    I don't think we will be taking the trailer but thanks for the suggestion, we have done some test packing around "essentials" and seem confident it will work just of the bike.

    Thanks

    Josh
    #29
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  10. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the offer Boatpuller will keep it in mind.

    Yeah I have been looking at the Tentspace map and will start to reach out

    Keep the BBQ tips coming hahaha

    I tend to lean towards Japanese over German, from having so many issues with German cars I have owned and what a pleasure the Japanese cars and bikes I have owned have been, so I feel more comfortable with that even tho I know BMW bikes are far more reliable than there 4 wheeled friends.

    Cheers

    Josh
    #30
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  11. boatpuller

    boatpuller Long timer

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    Octane levels in fuel in the USA tends to be elevation-related, with the higher it is, the lower the octane, and our engines tend to work fine on it. As long as the engine is not pre-igniting or pre-detonating (pinging) you are probably okay on most any grade of fuel you find. Most computer controlled ignition systems have a method of automatically retarding the engine to accommodate that, at a loss in peak power. In the mid-west 87-93 tends to be the range, lower in the mountains, and I expect higher near the shore at sea-level. I'd be more concerned about cleanness and quality of fuel in central and south America, where in small towns you may be buying fuel out of milk jugs and oil drums instead of fancy gas stations.
    #31
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  12. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    To add to what @boatpuller had to say above ^.....gas stations on the West Coast, known as the Best Coast of the USA, are using 87 octane as their "regular" fuel....89 octane as the "plus" fuel, and 91 octane as their "premium" fuel. No one really cares (joke) what they are doing on the East Coast....known as the Least Coast....in the USA. :jack

    However, down in Central America you will find that most petrol stations have 85 octane as their "regular" fuel, and 88 or 89 octane as their "premium" fuel. Only in the larger cities will you find fuel with a higher octane, like 91 or 93...and then you have to look around for it.

    In South America it will be somewhat the same as Central America...primarily 85 octane, and 88 octane is the higher grade, but the much larger cities might have 93 octane.


    Last word....Burnt Ends.....best BBQ is in Kansas City :-)
    #32
  13. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Well hello from Canberra.

    We're over on our blog putting together a 3 month lap of USA and you guys are doing a whole year of it!

    Maybe there's some info sharing opportunities that would help us all?

    Terry and Janelle
    #33
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  14. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    BBQ? Holier than motor oil!
    Anybody who's seen House of Cards on Netflix need no introduction to BBQ in the Maryland DC area. The place in the TV show was a rip-off of Kenny's BBQ, where Obama and Michelle went on separate occasions.
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/kennys-washington
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blog...8/gJQAk8wVmV_blog.html?utm_term=.0f750add7b45

    And a person could spend an entire vacation eating well fairly cheap in the heart of Baltimore. For example, stop at Harbor Que for BBQ lunch on the way to see Fort McHenry where the Star Spangled Banner was written, and then on the way out have dinner at Hull Street Blues or Little Havana for an entirely different taste. Each of them has a variety of local craft beers.
    :beer
    #34
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  15. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Gre
    Great recommendations, thanks, yeah a big fan of house of cards, would like to visit BBQ joints like that.
    #35
  16. lifetravelled

    lifetravelled Been here awhile

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    Hi guys,

    Sounds like a great idea, we are planning on around 10 weeks in the US and then south from there, so similar time in USA.

    I have read parts of your stuff but not all I will read and see what we can help each other with

    Thanks

    Josh and Stef
    #36
  17. Terry & Janelle

    Terry & Janelle Two Aussie riders planning a 3 month tour of USA

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    Cheers to you both.
    You might want to follow the link in our signature to our travel blog. 2 up on a Duke Multistrada around Europe a couple of years ago. Bloody awesome adventure.
    This time we're both riding.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    #37
  18. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    We've run the least expensive gasoline in our MANY BMW 1100/1150/1200 since year 1999. Currently I use USA 87 in our 2006 and 2008 1200GS's. We've ridden to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico on 1150's and used the lowest grade fuel. We ride the Baja peninsula...constantly...we live 145 miles north of Tijuana....San Felipe is a days ride....350 miles.....we use lowest grade fuel in 1200GS's.
    I've bought hundreds...yes hundreds of motorcycles. I've ridden a Bigstrom 1000 back to back with a BMW......there is NO comparison. The BMW costs twice as much and is twice the bike. But kilo for pound your Bigstrom is an awesome deal........it's just the components feel 'cheap' after riding a BMW. Same with the Tenere.....I've ridden that back to back......component wise it's 'cheap' but it's an awesome motorcycle.
    My travelers are so varied......They've wanted Big Stroms, Tenere's, WeeStroms, BMW 11/12 GS, no one has EVER complained about their bike......so my extensive scientific research shows...it really doesn't matter. I tell my travelers...."get what you want, it's the trip of a lifetime...buy whatever floats your boat"........I dispatched two young fellas from Australia this morning....they;re head south to Baja on a Yamaha DT 175 2 smoke.....that was his dream. His riding partner opted for a Vintage Yamaha XT600. Then this afternoon I sent out a young woman from Canada on a 1998 Suzuki Maurader cruiser.....her dream. Thursday a ride from Finland arrives via Australia, he also said he wanted a cruiser for USA....got him a 1998 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic. Next month I have a guy from Switzerland picking up a Suzuki DR650. After that a guy from Australia picking up a late model BMW R1200 LC. Hey.......just buy whatever you want it really doesn't matter........riding a 2 smoke to Paraguay or a Vulcan on Route 66....it's two wheeled fun and that's what we are all about. I'm thinking of buying a Van Van.
    #38
  19. Hi-De-Ho

    Hi-De-Ho Mad Scientist

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    James, I have two Van Van 200's for sale on the south island of New Zealand. They are both 2014 models.
    Have sold our house down there, and have the bikes up for sale.
    #39
  20. jeffeasy

    jeffeasy Adventurer

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    I wouldn't be worried at all about octane ratings. In most countries, including Australia, the RON rating system is used. In the United States we use AKI. The difference in numbers is due to the different testing method. For all intents and purposes, your 91 is the same fuel as our 87.
    #40